Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Old South will rise again in Summit County

ONCE AGAIN Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff has plunged into the Deep South to recruit his celebrity speaker for the party's annual finance dinner. With customary political hyperbole, he's announced to his people that Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (nee:George Ervin Perdue III), not yet a household name in Northern Ohio, will to be at the podium for the August 18 event at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn. Perdue will follow last year's main attraction, . Gov. Haley Barbour, the good 'ol boy who was assuring potential tourists that Mississippi's beaches were fine while BP-piles were heading for shore.

Up north, you don't hear much about Sonny Perdue these days. Unlike Barbour, the Georgian isn't talking about a possible presidency, although what Republican politician doesn't think a little about such promotions as they set out to assure President Obama's defeat so persistently early in their game. The only thing I vaguely remember about Sonny is that he once led a group of pols and preachers onto the Statehouse steps during a terrible drought to pray earnestly for rain. Don't know how that turned out.

The dinner invitation ($250 per) tells us that Perdue has done a masterful job of creating jobs although the state's unemployment rate has been higher than the national average for 33 consecutive months and is currently 10 pct. The Dept. of Labor also reports that Georgia has lost more jobs from June 2009 to June 201o than any other state but California.

The remainder of the invitation is the standard Republican boiler-plate of how Republicans are working to "reclaim our state and nation from far-left, socialist, tax-and-spend Democrats who have brought us massive debts at home and historic weakness abroad." Well, it's that time of year, I suppose, and you have to allow for such hysterical shopworn diatribes.

But I do believe Perdue might score more points if he told his audience how the Atlanta Braves managed get into first place.

Meantime, just across the border in Tennessee, Rep. Zach Wamp, another Republican, is running for governor this year and showing his hackles by insisting that unless Washington (i.e., Obama) shapes up, the state might have to secede. You'd think that by now someone would have reminded Zach that it has already been tried.

UPDATE: Wamp, who told the National Journal on Friday that secession might be considered, has now recanted under a wave of criticism, saying he opposes secession. Way to go, Zach!

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